Here's the question--is there such a thing as fate or do we make our own destinies?
Julie and I on last week's road trip started to notice a phrase we said over and over and over again, "you just never know."
We started out on a road trip to Tucson.
About 30 miles out of town, Julie realizes she doesn't have her phone charger. I don't have a cell phone. We need the phone to make contact with the person we're meeting in Tucson. Hmm...
Option 1: Turn and go back home. Get the charger and get back on the road. This is the "set in stone" mentality. We are always fluid, so we choose option #2.
Option 2: We pull into the small town nearby and go to the WalMart to find a charger. Now, Julie has a spare to keep in her purse instead of her car. And, being in this town reminds Julie of a reader of our abandoned book who lived in that town and mentioned an abandoned site Julie and I didn't know about. I suggest we now plug the phone in and give the woman a call and see where it is. The woman decides to meet us and take us there. We meet a happy reader of our book and her beautiful family and get to explore an amazing abandoned site. And, for my first time ever, I get to do a read on an abandoned site with someone who can verify the information on the place's history.
By going with the flow instead of demanding to follow the plans, we managed to make a new friend, see a new place, and photograph a beautiful site, and as well I find another "abandoned" toy to add to my collection.
We laugh in the car and say, "you just never know."
Heading down the highway, our next plan is to get photos of an abandoned motel's sign. It has attracted our attention and we really thought it looked very retro 1960s family roadside vacation in appearance. We see the place but no exit. We drive for another 8-10 miles waiting for an exit. We have two options:
Option 1: We continue on because the next exit is the one we need to take to our final destination.
Option 2: We take the next exit and, even though it's our exit for our destination, we have time, so we turn around and get back onto the freeway and go back to the exit for the hotel to photograph a big sign. Frivolous, huh?
We choose to turn around and go back. How many times will we go past that place that looks so fascinating? So, we drive the 8-10 miles back and take the exit only to find a row of abandoned buildings, hotel, gas station, and then as we drive down them to photograph and film, we find out there are loads of abandoned places including an amazing motel behind those buildings. We get out to photograph a fascinating abandoned motel. Just gorgeous!
We wander taking pictures without paying a lot of attention. I go into a room and it's so neat, that I set up my timer and take my picture.
When I go to get my camera, I see a large black dog prowling towards me. I turn and leave the room quietly and tell Julie that there's a stray dog in there. We need to go.
Had we not turned around to take the picture of the sign, we wouldn't have found the amazingly photographic hotel, but had I not taken a picture of myself in the hotel, we would have walked into the dog's room and cornered him unsuspectingly.
We laugh in the car as we drive off, "you never know!"
Everything that day was serendipitous and we ended up repeating that phrase many times. Were we supposed to not have the phone jack, meet the family and see the abandoned place, turn around and go back to photograph a sign and photograph an amazing motel and happen to realize a stray dog is in there and leave safely?
No, that was no convoluted master plan, it was us moving forward with decisions and then doing so with adaptability. The universe repaid us with lots of amazing finds and a safe and happy trip on the way down and the way back and that is simply because we said, "why not?" and then answered it with "you just never know."